The end of year holidays are fast approaching and we just wanted to get out a few quick reminders about Halloween this year.  If you are following the Utah statutes in regards to holiday parent time, as an even numbered year, this Halloween the children will spend with the evening with the “non-custodial parent.” (This also means, in odd numbered years this will be true for “custodial parents”)

Clarify whether you are the “custodial” or “non-custodial” parent.

Be sure you understand who is designated as the “custodial parent” and “non-custodial parent” in terms of the holidays in your Decree or most recent Court Order.

  • If one parent has sole physical custody, then they are the “custodial parent” and the other parent is the “non-custodial parent.”
  • If you share joint physical custody and use the Utah statutes for holidays, make sure to check which parent is designated as “custodial” and “non-custodial” in your Decree or most recent Court Order for the division of holidays.

Know what the Utah Statute says about Halloween in even numbered years.

According to the Utah statute 30-3-35, in even years the Halloween holiday is defined as “on October 31 or the day Halloween is traditionally celebrated in the local community from after school until 9:00 pm if on a school day, or from 4:00 pm until 9:00 pm.”

As the “non-custodial parent,” if this is your regularly scheduled weekend for parent time – then you will just have the children for the weekend as usual to celebrate Halloween.

As the “non-custodial parent,” if this is NOT your regularly scheduled weekend for parent time – then you will have the parent time as indicated in the Utah statute above, and will return the children to the custodial parent by 9:00 pm Halloween night.

This is simply the recommendation for the division of Halloween as provided in the Utah statutes, and if the division of holidays is per the Utah statute 30-3-35 then the “non-custodial parent” will have parent time until 9:00 pm.

Communicate as parents regarding Halloween plans.

As parents, you may agree to something different, but it is always suggested that you have any agreement regarding a change to the holiday schedule in writing.

No matter if this is your first Halloween since separating as parents or if you have been separated for years, it is a good idea to touch base with the other parent regarding plans for the children over Halloween.  Early communication regarding the holiday (in other words, not sending an email the night of October 30th regarding the following nights activities and requests) ensures each parent is informed regarding Halloween, and communication could make any changes to your schedule much easier.

As children get older plans may change when it comes to friends, family, school, church or neighborhood activities.  If you have more than one child, you may also want to consider whether there will be different age appropriate Halloween activities to attend and how best you can make those happen between the two of you as parents.

Be safe this Halloween and enjoy the holiday.

Utah Family Law Blog